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How to Save When Renting in Today’s Economy

The affordability of rent is quickly putting many people in precarious positions. Renters are being hit with a reality check when applying for apartments or entering into lease renewals. In some of the most competitive markets, tenants are seeing rent increases of up to 50%. While salaries are struggling to catch up to the cost of living, people are also finding themselves grappling to stay afloat. 

As a nation, we are largely dependent on the state of the economy. Since we’re ruled by capitalism, the free market determines how much money we can make and subsequently how we spend it. People are paid in accordance with the value they provide in the scope of the work that they do. Attaining a sustainable income here in the United States has a cost.

It comes in the form of college degrees, continuing education or childcare. When you tie that into day-to-day expenses that include food, utilities and basic upkeep— you are on the continuum of spending money to survive. When you add in inflation and constantly rising costs, Americans alike find themselves underwater. 

If you are renting, you still have options to lighten the load. Here’s are some ways to help mitigate your costs of living. 

1. Find a Roommate

If it’s possible (dependent on lease stipulations) find a roommate to help cover the cost of rent and utilities. 

2. Relocate to a City That Has Rent Ordinances

Typically states do not set limits on what can be charged for rent. However, municipalities can set their own limits on how much the rent can increase per lease renewal. Here in New Jersey, most municipalities have ordinances that do not go above 5%.

3. Negotiate

There’s always room for negotiation. The landlord has the right to set rates within the ordinance provided but many are willing to compromise depending on your situation. A simple conversation may offset the immediate repercussions of non-payment. 

4. Lock in a Rate

Ask if you are able to sign a multi-year lease to lock in the proposed rate. If you know that you are planning to stay in that area/apartment, this is definitely a great way to slow down the rate of increase. 

The speed at which the cost of living is increasing, doesn’t show signs of slowing. Finding ways to maneuver through all of the options available can keep you from being in between a rock and a hard place. 


Popular Cities to Buy a Home in New Jersey Based on Home Sales

The force that has invigorated the real estate market across the United States can be felt in most major metropolitan areas and New Jersey is no different. People have been inspired to make big changes while scaling the other side of the pandemic. Homeowners and renters alike have flocked to the market and are making big moves. As people migrate in, out and around the state—some areas experience a greater influx of new residents. 

The proximity to New York City draws people to settle here. In 2020, the transition to a remote lifestyle prompted many New Yorkers to seek shelter outside of the concrete jungle and in a more picturesque environment.  New Jerseyans also took advantage of the historically low mortgage rates and ventured out of their rentals and into more permanent spaces. In the last two years, home sales increased in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Hudson counties. In fact, 12,631 residential properties (single-family, 2-4 family, condo, townhouses, co-ops) were sold in 2021. 

 Here are the top 5 cities for residential sales in each of these counties:
*Statistical data provided by NJMLS 

Bergen County

  1. Fort Lee—723 sales
  2. Teaneck—495 sales
  3. Mahwah—495 sales
  4. Hackensack– 449 sales 
  5. Fair Lawn– 436 sales

Essex County

  1. Newark—851 sales
  2. Bloomfield—587 sales
  3. Montclair—484 sales
  4. West Orange—395 sales
  5. Belleville—377 sales

Hudson County

  1. Jersey City—329 sales
  2. Kearny—296 sales
  3. North Bergen—228 sales
  4. West New York—211 sales
  5. Hoboken—207 Sales

Passaic County

  1. Wayne—766 sales
  2. Paterson—658 sales
  3. West Milford—437 sales
  4. Hawthorne—265 sales
  5. Wanaque—229 sales

As the scope of inventory and affordability changes, the market will adapt to the factors that affect it. With new homes still coming onto the real estate market weekly, New Jerseyans and New Yorkers that are still looking to make a move, can easily find their place here.